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Study Of The Soil Isolates For Antimicrobial Activity

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This study on antimicrobial activity is carried out by screening for the soil fungi Fusarium sp. and investigating its antibacterial activity against Bacillus sp. and Staphylococcus aureus. The research was performed through soil sample dilution and various plate culture methods to detect fungal behavior against bacteria. During initial stages of the study, a variety of fungi were found to be present in the soil samples such as Aspergillus spp., Penicillum spp., Rhizopus spp., Cladosporium spp., Fusarium spp., etc. along with some soil bacteria. However, only the Fusarium isolates were of concern for this study.

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Multidrug resistant organisms are now the main concern of developed countries. Fungal antibiotics could be one of the weapons in the treatment of many bacterial diseases. The purpose of this study was to find new novel therapeutic agents from fungi found in the soil habited. The discovery of suitable isolates can then lead to the extraction of novel bioactive metabolites. Potential antimicrobial properties of many microorganisms have been found in several researches before.

Bacillus sp., Staphylococcus aureus pure cultures were taken from laboratory stock cultures. Identity of target bacterial strains were confirmed using Bergey’s Manual of Systematic Bacteriology, using suitable tests such as Gram staining, endospore staining, biochemical characterization tests and microscopic observation. Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus sp. were isolated in order to check their susceptibility to fungal antibiotics.

A number of previous studies have been carried out to investigate fungal antibiotics. Various Aspergillus species have been identified to be able to kill pathogenic bacteria. Most of them show antibiotic activity against β-lactamase producing E. coli and methicillin-resistant S. aureus. In addition, Aspergillus can produce antioxidants. Another significant study was conducted to detect whether fungi have the ability to produce antibiotics to kill the four target pathogenic bacteria Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. A total of six types of fungi were isolated from the soil. They were Mucor sp., Curvularia sp., Aspergillus sp., Drechslera sp., Penicillium sp., and Rhizopus sp. All these fungal isolates were able to inhibit the growth of the target bacteria. Rhizopus sp., Drechslera sp., Mucor sp., Aurebasidium sp. and Curvularia sp. were most effective against Bacillus subtilis. Pseudomonas aeruginosa was not killed by Curvularia sp. and Cephalosporium sp. Staphylococcus aureus was inhibited by the Cephalosporium sp., Mucor sp., and Aurebasidium sp.. Ergosterol peroxide is an antibiotic compound, a steroid that is isolated from fungus and yeast and which has the ability to perform antitumor antiviral and anti-inflammatory activities. It can be extracted from Verticillium sp. fungi, which is related to the Rehmannia glutinosa herb. It shows activity against Pyricularia oryzae P-2b. Endophytic fungi can produce many compounds that work as plant growth promoting agent. It can also produce antibacterial molecules. In one study, Fusarium solani extraction was found to be the most affective in killing Staphylococcus epidermidis. Another extensive research proved ethyl acetate extracts of Aspergillus oryzae, A. nomius, A. terrus, Penicillium citrinum and Fusarium solani has antibiotic activity.

Fusarium species are abundant in cultivated soil both in temperate and tropical regions and have even been isolated from arctic permafrost and in the sands of the Sahara. Fusarium sp. is of concern to humans. They can survive in various kinds of substrates in soil, air and plant residue. They have also been isolated from many preserved food sources, stored raw liquids and even plane fuel tanks. The criteria used to detect Fusarium sp. included morphological features such as microconidia, conidiogenous cells, macroconidia, chlamydospores, growth rate, and most importantly pigmentation. Fusarium sp. can also be characterized by its colony characteristics on either Potato Dextrose agar (PDA), Sabouraud Dextrose Agar (SDA) or in Czapek Dox media. The features for identification include aerial mycelium, growth rates, both the top view and the bottom (reverse) view of the colony on the agar plate, macroconidia, shape, texture and conidiogenous cells.

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